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How Do I Help My Houseplants Thrive?

Written by Naomi Cleary

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Posted on August 27 2020

If you follow a few simple but necessary steps, your house plants can be happy and healthy all year long.

Drainage

Always use a terracotta plant pot with a drainage hole. If your plants sit in water they will die. Period.

Using clay pot for plants versus plastic is best for the following reasons:

  • They are strong and will last a long time.
  • They are heavier than plastic and less likely to tip or be knocked over.
  • They look really good. Plastic tends to look cheap and will degrade over time.
  • Once broken, clay pots for plants can be used as shards to assist with drainage
  • Contrary to what you might think, plastic pots cannot be recycled.

Is Terracotta Really That Good?

Terracotta clay allows water to evaporate through the walls helping the soil dry between waterings. If you are an attentive plant parent who loves to water, porous clay pots with the proper drainage will ensure your green babies will not drown. The bonus with terracotta is that the color of the plant pot changes from light to dark letting you know if the pot is wet or dry. Terracotta plant pots can even add humidity to the air, which lots of houseplants really love.

When to Re-pot

The optimum repotting time is spring, right before your plants get that summer burst of growth energy. Look underneath the pot - if green or white roots are peeking out of the drainage hole your plant needs a bigger home. If your plant pot doesn’t have a drainage hole, it is a miracle your plant has survived this long and it’s definitely time to re-pot in a container with a hole. 

Food

Always use a top notch, organic soil made for indoor plants. You can get soil made just for succulents or cactus too. Go the extra mile in the warmer months and use an organic, liquid fertilizer that can be added when watering.  

Location

House plants really don’t like cold air, and will crumple and wilt if left in the path of a freezing blast from the air conditioner or cold winter air. Take the time to feel how the air travels throughout your rooms and move plants out of the cold zone.

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